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A Project of The Annenberg Public Policy Center

Congressman’s Slippery Cell Phone Claim

Congressman’s Slippery Cell Phone Claim

A congressman’s Web video goes too far when it portrays a program that subsidizes cell phone service for very low-income persons as a government giveaway that is costing taxpayers billions.
The video also misleadingly claims Arkansas Rep. Tim Griffin is “reforming” the program. His proposed legislation — the “Stop Taxpayer-Funded Cell Phones Act of 2011” — actually would eliminate the cell phone subsidy.
Griffin’s video focuses on Lifeline, a federally mandated program that reimburses phone companies with a monthly subsidy of $9.25 for each low-income customer who uses a landline or a cell phone.

Who’s Bearing ‘False Witness’ in Arkansas?

In Arkansas’ 2nd Congressional District, Democrat Joyce Elliott accuses her opponent, Tim Griffin, of violating the commandment not to bear false witness — but she goes on to make questionable claims herself:

Elliott says Griffin “conspired to keep students and soldiers from voting” in the 2004 election, an unproven allegation that has resulted in no charges.
Her ad says Griffin “opposes regulating Wall Street.” It’s true he opposes the Democratic financial reform bill, but not all financial regulations.